Many of us find to our surprise that someone has made unauthorized charges on a credit card, or
bank debit card, or opened a charge account in our name which we never heard of. Sometimes a
debt collector calls. While Identity Theft is a crime, the problems it creates for you are civil in
nature. About 30 million Americans are subjected to scams every year. |
I have helped many clients deal with the frustrating problems that arise from identity theft; I have
been successful in recovering money that was wrongfully taken, and clearing derogatory credit
reports, and stopping harassing debt collectors.
There is much that a victims of identity theft should do on their own, as soon as it is discovered,
and it may be that the services of an attorney are not needed. Included below are links to helpful
resources that can guide you on steps to take. The most important things are to write letters to
the bank, credit card company or other organizations involved, and to keep copies of the letters as well as obtaining proof of their receipt (such as by certified mail, return receipt requested). It is also important to go to the local police and report the crimes of identity theft and forgery.
How can you protect your tax records?
If your tax records are not currently affected by identity theft, but you believe you may be at risk due to a lost/stolen purse or wallet, questionable credit card activity or credit report, etc., or,
if you are a victim of identity theft who has previously been in contact with the IRS and have not achieved a resolution, contact the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit at 1-800-908-4490.
If you receive a notice from IRS, respond immediately. If you believe someone may have used your SSN fraudulently, please notify IRS immediately by responding to the name and number printed on the notice or letter. You will need to fill out the IRS Identity Theft Affidavit, Form 14039.